01/07/2022

How to get customers shopping with confidence in tough times

With most pandemic restrictions over, Australian shoppers have hit the stores.

April 2022 retail sales rose 0.9% to a record $33.9 billion. This was 9.6% more when compared with April 2019!

 

However, this increased activity could be short lived. Australia is now displaying inflationary and other wider economic pressures such as rising interest rates and high energy and fuel costs. 

It is hard to catch a break as a retailer.

Despite this, the government is hoping that households will dip into their $272 billion worth of extra savings accumulated during the pandemic.  Bank deposits alone are worth $1.26 trillion.

Whichever way you look at it, every customer that walks into your store and every retail sale will be even more important. 

 

So how can you allow your customers to shop with confidence, as they start to feel the pinch?

1.Transform your salespeople into trusted experts

As we all know, a lot of shoppers visit retailers to explore and research a product or service first. Once they have made their decision, they may head online to compare prices and buy.  

As a bricks-and-mortar retailer, this is an amazing opportunity. You are the first port of call in the buying journey. And if handled well, your business can be seen as the trusted expert in your category. 

A trusted expert is one with a comprehensive knowledge of its product or services range that goes way beyond the features. An expert can translate the features into key benefits, so they become tangible buying factors for the shopper.

Shoppers lap up this added value and knowledge your business is relaying. It helps shoppers to narrow their choices and dismiss any doubts they may have about a product or service. All made so much easier and achievable face to face - to help you convert browsers into buyers!

The benefits of transforming salespeople into trusted experts goes a long way - thorough product and service training will give your salespeople confidence in their selling skills, helping them approach and talk to more shoppers in store.

It also helps your retail outlet to be a step ahead of your competitors. You may sell the same products as your competitors, but product and service knowledge are an easy way to distinguish your brand and get more sales. A knowledgeable salesperson wins every time!  It gives your buyers confidence in what they are buying.

Ensure you provide on-going support to your salespeople by setting up regular training sessions, so they can be instructed on new services and products as they arrive in store.

TOP TIP – don’t forget to extend the training to ‘closing the sale’.  Many salespeople forget to ask for the sale after all the hard work of leading the shopper through the early stages of the buyer’s journey.

2. Entice customers with an unforgettable retail experience

People love to congregate where they feel welcome. A retailer who offers a warm, friendly, inclusive space with a memorable experience, will soon see shoppers dropping in more often. 

Here are some ideas to create a memorable encounter -

  • A clean and hygienic store makes shoppers feel safe and secure (vacuum those dust bunnies!)
  • Add a seating area to increase dwell time, with free tea and coffee to provide a space to relax for the ‘co-shoppers’ - those tagging along on the shopping expedition
  • Follow the Aldi special buys experience – surprise your shoppers with new products or services that are different from your usual line BUT only offer them for a limited time to keep it fresh and enticing.
  • Allow your shoppers to touch, feel and try your products – this is a key differentiator from online shopping.
  • If you also have an online presence - ensure your staff let any customers that leave without purchasing know and have some cards or leaflets with your website they can hand out.
  • Create a social media corner, where shoppers can take selfies in-store for some fun and to share with others. They’ll post your brand to their friends and family and help spread your business with little effort on your part.
  • And last but not least - concentrate on improving customer service to supercharge your shopper’s experience. Ensure there are enough approachable staff on the floor at all times. And ensure your staff don’t forget that customer service extends beyond the purchase. Ensure they let your customers know about your great post-purchase customer support, return and refund policies.

Investing in your retail experience can pay dividends, with increased customer satisfaction, more sales and returned shoppers with their buddies.

3. Check out your checkout

Ensure nothing impedes a shopper once they have decided to buy! This is what makes online shopping so attractive – a slick transaction of choice, checkout and collect.  

  • Improve speed and reduce friction

Retailers need to make the path to purchase easy. Can shoppers find what they need?  Can the sales registers be accessed easily? Is there enough staff to process sales quickly?  

Could investing in self-checkouts leave your staff with more time to engage with pre-sales shoppers?

  • Payments

Are you helping your shoppers buy what they need by offering the payments they are expecting? With payments changing significantly since the pandemic, we’ve seen the demise of cash, the decline of credit card use and the rise of on-premise finance.  

There are new payment methods on the market – PayID to streamline received payments, or a quick scan of a QR code to pay with a mobile through to in-store consumer finance offerings.  

In-store finance has become popular in recent times, especially for larger purchases such as furniture, mattresses, home gym equipment, computers, musical instruments and for services such as dental procedures and photography.

etika offers fee-free, interest-free in-store finance for amounts up to $10,000 over 36 months.  It integrates with your POS system and the shopper applies in-store on their mobile.  After approval, your customer can walk out of the store with their goods or service knowing they can pay off, over a set schedule.  You receive your money the next day for all approved finance. 

On-premise finance just got better with etika. How? Read about it here.

Oh, and we offer e-commerce finance as well!

The bottom line: Capitalise on every customer that walks into your store and every sale made and you’ll reap the rewards and beat your competitors! Call etika on 1300 FAIRER (324 737) if you want to review your payment offerings to your shoppers. Our flexible range of consumer finance options can create an offer that’s perfect for your business and buyers!

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